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National Democratic Front of Burma Issues Position Statement on Landmines

National Democratic Front of Burma Issues Position Statement on Landmines

Geneva – 28 February 2007

In a significant first step towards the mine ban, the National Democratic Front (NDF) of Burma agreed to a position statement on landmine use during its Central Executive Committee meeting of 25 January 2007.

The position statement follows Geneva Call’s discussions with various member organisations and NDF representatives and the signing of Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment by the CNF in 2006.  It makes special reference to members, who have signed the Deed of Commitment, and approves and permits organisations in a position to abide by the mine ban to individually consult with Geneva Call. The position statement instructs its member organisations’ armed wings “which have to use landmines in self-defence” to search for ways in which to minimise and limit landmine use, to subject landmine use to strict rules, regulations and supervision, and to undertake measures to ensure that landmine use does not harm villagers.  In addition, it instructs member organisations to undertake measures for educating the population about landmines and to provide aid and assistance to landmine victims. In the same statement, the NDF demands that the ruling military regime in Burma “immediately stop their indiscriminate and widespread use of landmines, which are killing and maiming innocent civilians.” The NDF was formed in 1976.  It is a well-known umbrella organisation composed of armed opposition groups of Burma/Myanmar’s various ethnic nationalities, several of which are known anti-personnel mine users. Members include the Karen National Union (KNU), Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), Chin National Front (CNF), Lahu Democratic Front (LDF), Pa’O Peoples Liberation Oraganisation (PPLO), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), New Mon State Party (NMSP), and Wa National Organisation (WNO). Geneva Call congratulates the NDF for its decision and encourages its members’ to continue to develop strict forms of behaviour and guidelines that uphold the principles of international humanitarian law. Geneva Call looks forward to working with the NDF and its members towards a total ban on anti-personnel mines and a mine-free Burma/Myanmar.


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